How Glanbia Uses Asavie's Tech to Connect Fleets, Factories, Farmers and Retailers

An Irish manufacturer of nutritional supplement and dairy products uses Asavie's technology to add visibility to the beginning and end of its supply chain.
By Mary Catherine O'Connor
Oct 05, 2016

Integrating Internet of Things connectivity across disparate systems or business functions in an enterprise is rarely a fast or simple endeavor. One hurdle is identifying and testing the most appropriate type of communication network—be that cellular, a local or wide-area network, or some other radio network. But another is creating an infrastructure by which the correct data is securely routed to the right parts of the network at the proper time.

Headquartered in Kilkenny, Ireland, Glanbia manufacturers nutritional supplements that are sold in 32 countries. It also sells dairy products, sourced from a network of 5,000 farms, via its Dairy Ireland business arm.

A milk intake hose at a farm, with a Glanbia milk tanker in the background
In 2008, Glanbia sought to displace the paper-based tracking system that fleet drivers used when delivering orders of milk and other dairy products to its retail customers. It also wanted to automate the collection of temperature data from sensors mounted inside the fleet's cargo holds, to ensure that products were properly refrigerated during transport from the Glanbia plant to the stores.

To do this, Glanbia turned to Asavie, an enterprise mobility management and IoT connectivity platform provider, which deployed its PassBridge technology on ruggedized handheld Motorola computers, with cellular connectivity, that drivers now carry. The devices collect temperature data from the truck and integrate this information, along with an electronic signature from the retail store worker who accepts the delivery, into a proof-of-delivery message that is sent to Glanbia's enterprise resource planning (ERP) platform.

PassBridge is built on a software-defined networking architecture, explains Keith O'Bryne, Asavie's head of solutions, and uses off-the-shelf SIM cards to create a private access point name (APN) and a private internet protocol address that are used to create a virtual connection between the handheld computer and Glanbia's business systems. "We think of ourselves as providing essential plumbing" for device connectivity, O'Byrne says.

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